Space junk is a real problem. NASA now tracks around 20,000 pieces of debris orbiting Earth, most of them larger than 10cm across. Since the average speed of a collision between orbiting objects is 10 km/s these pieces of trash can cause a lot of damage despite their small size.
Scientists in Switzerland have a plan to clean up space junk – it involves creating a ‘Janitor Satellite’ that will seek out pieces of space junk to drag back into the atmosphere causing them to burn up.
This video was created for the Aussie science show Catalyst on the ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst